Irish National Gender Service now insists adult patients' parents be present at assessments, warns trans activist

Noah Halpin decried the situation on Twitter as an 'unnecessary and unethical forced requirement'.

A hand with the trans flag painted on the palm

Noah Halpin, the founder of This Is Me – Trans Healthcare Campaign has shared on social media that the psychiatric team at the National Gender Service have begun to require that adult patients’ parents be present at assessments.

In a Twitter thread, Halpin described, “So under the guise of COVID, where they assumed that no one would notice, the psychiatric team at the National Gender Service have began insisting that adult patient’s parents be present at assessments. This is against the law. Breaches patient confidentiality, breaches patient consent, and is also an absolutely ridiculous, unnecessary and unethical forced requirement.

“Putting aside legal standing alone… There are many reasons why people would not want their parents present. The line of questioning by the psychiatric team at the NGS [National Gender Service] is unnecessarily hyper sexualised, asking patients very intimate and detailed accounts of their sexual activity, as well as their childhood, relationship with their parents, past emotional/physical/sexual abuse etc…

“This outdated and non evidential model of diagnostic questioning is traumatic enough for a person to go through alone. But to be forced, as an adult, to have a parent in the room at the same time is completely absurd and breaches all confidentiality/consent guidelines.”

The issue of accessibility to trans healthcare in Ireland is a serious one. In a recent article, GCN reported how trans people are being forced to self medicate due to prohibitively long waitlists, so to have this added problem could have serious effects on the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of those involved.

As well as raising awareness of the situation, Halpin also shared a call-to-action to address the problem. The Twitter thread included, “You do not have to be trans to fight for trans rights. Make a complaint through the HSE Your Service, Your Say facility. Make a complaint to the National Gender Service. Make a complaint to Loughlinstown Hospital. Make a complaint to the HSE.

“Be the voice for those who feel as if they don’t have one right now.”

 

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